12 March 2012, Sydney: New research released today by the Stable Population Party has found 73% of Australians would prefer a stable population of around 26 million by 2050; instead of Australia's current rate of growth which will see us exceed 36 million by 2050.
Australia's population will hit 23 million mid-July and we are currently adding the equivalent of another Canberra every year (1 million people every three years). The survey of over 1000 Australians, supported by focus groups, showed that most believe this rate of growth is too rapid.
William Bourke, National Convenor for the Stable Population Party, said,
"The evidence is clear; Australians are frustrated by their experiences of overstretched infrastructure, lack of affordable housing and congestion across our major cities. Australians want to stabilise the population and need greater choice politically to ensure their views are taken into account."
"The Stable Population Party is committed to ensuring a better quality of life. We can make positive steps not only to prevent overcrowding in our cities, but to protect our unique environment and make sure our food and water supplies are managed well for future generations," continued Mr Bourke.
32% of respondents believed Australia's humanitarian (including refugees) intake to be the biggest contributor to growth, even though the current humanitarian intake comprises less than 5% of annual growth. Australia's humanitarian intake is only 14,000 of the annual permanent immigration program of around 200,000 per year.
The research also found that many believe slowing population growth would positively impact upon some of the most pressing issues for the next election. 81% of Australians believed stabilising the population would help prevent urban sprawl and overdevelopment, 79% believed it would help relieve overstretched infrastructure (specifically roads, hospitals, schools and public transport) and 71% believed it would help to ease the high cost of living in regards to housing, water prices, energy prices and road tolls.
Cost of living continues to be the deciding issue for many voters, with 75% seeing this as very important to them. Despite negativity around a carbon price, over 2 in 3 Australians said cutting carbon emissions and combating climate change was important to them (23% said it was very important and 44% said it was somewhat important).
Australia's current population growth of 1.4 per cent is still faster than the world average of 1.1 per cent. The world's population hit 7 billion at the end of October 2011, and based on the current trends, the world will pass eight billion in 2025.
The Stable Population Party will be premiering the documentary 'GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth' across all Australian capital cities from March 14th. These evenings will include candidate announcements for the Party and Q&A with party officials, while the maker of 'GrowthBusters' Dave Gardner will also make special appearances at select sessions. 'GrowthBusters' aims to generate thoughtful community debate about population growth and quality of life. Further details can be found at www.PopulationParty.org.au.
The research supporting this report was conducted by McCrindle Research in February 2012 and included a nationally representative survey of 1,118 Australians, as well as focus groups across three generations.
* A conservative estimate based on the current growth rate of 1.4 per cent per annum, which will see us hit 39 million in 2050; this is below the ABS "Series A" forecast of 40 million in 2050.
For more information please contact William Bourke on 02 9906 6720 / 0448 620 525, or email [email protected]
SOURCE: Stable Population Party
Australian Associated Press Pty Ltd
Media Release: Stable Population Party
12 March 2012
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